Making A Difference in Our County
University of Georgia Cooperative Extension is working hard for its constituents. The following are examples of Extension’s impact in the county over the past year.
4-H Youth Development
The Camden County 4-H program focuses on life skills development, stress management, college preparation, workforce development, coastal awareness, special interest clubs and summer programming. Through competitions and club meetings, members learn about life skills, college preparation and future career skills. Through 29 club meetings in the classroom our staff reached more than 700 Camden County youth each month. Staff and volunteers led special-interest club meetings about marine science, poultry, cooking, and arts and crafts. Due to demand, two sessions were held for Marine Science Club and the Beginner’s Cooking Club. There was also another Cooking Club session for advanced members and those who had participated in the beginner’s club last year. These clubs met monthly during the school year and had 25 to 50 members each. 4-H staff shared Yoga for Kids with the schools, teaching about mindful relaxation and exercise for health. Summer programs kept the members engaged in learning, including multiple-day marine science and STEM camps, babysitting workshop and fun trips. 4-H staff shared information from an Ocean-to-Table Seafood Workshop with Marine Extension at club meetings, summer programs, festivals and online.
Agricultural and Natural Resources
The Camden County Extension office offers many agriculture and natural resources services to local clientele. The office offers soil, water and plant analyses through the university’s laboratories, as well as in-office and on-site consultations on issues such as pond management, lawn health and maintenance, gardening issues and strategies, water quality, and land use decisions. As coastal populations continue to grow and the effects of climate change are increasing, there is a greater need than ever to educate coastal residents on the value and proper management of their natural resources. In response to this need, the Agriculture and Natural Resources agent began offering Master Naturalist courses in 2017. Every year the class has quickly filled to capacity with a waiting list. Residents have traveled from locations as far as Ponte Vedra, Florida (65 miles), and Stockbridge, Georgia (300 miles), to participate in the class, as it is not currently offered in any other coastal or southeastern counties.
The agent collaborated with multiple partners to offer localized and intriguing field experiences and classes to participants. Response from the class was overwhelmingly positive.
All end of course evaluations submitted (100%) stated that the class had changed the way that the individual viewed and understood or their perception of natural resources. Of the respondents 75% stated that some of their habits or behaviors had changed based on knowledge or experience gained in the class.
Family and Consumer Sciences
Although Camden County Extension does not have a Family and Consumer Sciences agent based in the office, we strive to assist local residents with their questions. Common questions regard food safety, food preservation and treating mold and mildew. These topics and others are answered through a wide variety of free UGA Extension publications available at the county office or by phone conferences with Family and Consumer Sciences agents in surrounding counties.